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Gemalto to Provide Three Million Identity Cards in Kuwait

Deployment Started in June 2009

Gemalto, a provider of digital security, will deliver national ID cards to Kuwait, as part of the government program commissioned by the country's Public Authority For Civil Information. Al-Kharafi, an international private Kuwait-based company, is prime contractor for this nationwide program. The agreement appoints Gemalto to deliver electronic multi-application ID cards for citizens embedding contact and contactless smart card technologies, as well as plastic cards for foreign residents that implement highly secure printing features. In addition, Gemalto provides support and training services, project management, as well as smart card related software. Citizen card rollout started in June 2009 and resident cards will be deployed in the coming months. The national ID card is compulsory for all inhabitants of Kuwait.

Kuwait determined to deploy this national ID card in order to comply with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) regulation designed to allow citizens of all GCC countries to travel freely between member states. This card will serve as the official ID document for Kuwaiti citizens and will also be used as a travel document in the GCC region.

The Gemalto contactless technology built in the card increases speed, convenience and security of identity verification at border crossings. In the future, the contact functionality will allow cardholders to access e-government services and perform transactions in a simple and secure manner. Foreign residents will use their card as their national ID document within the Kuwaiti territory. In the second phase, it could be upgraded to a microprocessor card.

“For PACI, it was important to fully utilize the region's most established population registry and provide citizens with a secure travel document and convenient platform for additional services,” said Musaed Al-Assoussi, Director General, PACI.

“PACI has always been a pioneer in recording and managing population information and with the new smart card, they are entering a new era: Security in identifying the cardholder and convenience when crossing borders,” said Jacques Seneca, Executive VP of the Security Business Unit at Gemalto.

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